By Nathan M. Czochara
A new smoke shop opened in Schoolcraft but it is not your average tobacco store. There’s no tobacco at all because Wally’s Vapor Shop, 403 N. Grand St., sells e-cigarettes.
Owners and Vicksburg residents, Ted and Devon Emmans, opened the shop in early April. The idea that came to Ted when he was doing computer IT work at Kalamazoo Vapor Shop. The owner discussed opening a homemade e-liquid shop in the Schoolcraft area, so Ted decided to open his own vapor shop in conjunction with the Kalamazoo group.
So, now Wally’s Vapor Shop is providing customers with e-cigarettes and accessories, but don’t expect to find the $9 devices you see in your local gas station, said Ted, who describes those as “cheap, knock-off hunks of junk.”
“Battery-life doesn’t last long; the devices themselves do not last long, and actual flavor and stuff they use are not very good. They taste terrible,” said Ted. “We don’t know what goes in their [e-cigarettes]. I know exactly what goes in our liquid; they are not saying what goes into theirs.”
The price at Wally’s for the liquids is $7.41, which Ted says is equal smoking time to seven packs of regular cigarettes. The e-liquids come in several flavors and levels of nicotine content. The hardware itself ranges from $25 to between $300 and $400, said Ted. The price variations are due to the battery life and the ability to change voltage, since certain e-liquids vaporize at different temperatures. While there is an initial investment in e-cigarettes, the cost benefits can be seen right away, said Ted.
“We usually tell customers they will save 50 to 60 bucks a week,” he said. “My mom was a huge smoker. She was looking to do something different. So I bought one for her and she really liked it. We figured out the first month she saved over $200. That’s when I thought this is really something.”
Tobacco chewers have an option as well.
“We are the only ones in Southwest Michigan to carry an herbal chew with nicotine in it,” said Ted.
Ted and Devon feel they are helping the community with Wally’s Vapor Shop by providing a service that can lead to a healthier community.
“We really just want to serve people in my home area and take care of the people,” said Ted.